ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia has moved its primaries twice because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday at midnight was the last chance to register for the upcoming June 9 primaries.
Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, sits down exclusively with the state’s Secretary of State on how they plan to keep voters safe and what new issues have come up.
More than a million Georgians have requested to vote absentee.
“With those kind of numbers, typically we are expecting around 2 million numbers, and 50% of those will be voting absentee and you think that is 5%, so this year it could be times or even higher when it’s all said and done.”Brad Raffensperger Secretary of State
But the state is now scrambling to get younger poll workers for the primaries.
“The average age group is 70+ and that’s a higher risk age group. The counties are working proactively to get people out.”Brad Raffensperger Secretary of State
Georgia has more than 2500 polling precincts and each is required to have at least 3 poll workers per precinct.
“It’s been tough to get poll workers for the last several years and a older clientele”Brad Raffensperger Secretary of State
The Secretary of State says counties may have to reduce the number of precincts — if they fall short of workers.
“The advantage of the absentee ballot process is that if more person votes absentee, it reduces the number that show up for in person voting. Plus, we are going to space people out which makes your lines longer anyway.”Brad Raffensperger Secretary of State
But the state is using grant money to help sanitize each polling place to keep voters safe.
“We have purchased 33,000 masks. When you show up, it will be wiped down before you use it like when you go shopping and wipe it off again. If there’s 10 people, you have a 60 foot line.”Brad Raffensperger Secretary of State
The state has about 7 million active voters — and are encouraging anyone older than 16-years-old to sign up as a poll worker and help do their civic duty.
You can check your registration status online on the “My voter page” set up by the Georgia Secretary of State HERE.
Here are the key dates:
- Early voting runs May 18 to June 5th.
- Primary election day is June 9th.
- Statewide Saturday voting May 30th.
- Run off elections will be August 11th.